Representing Indigenous culture through art

Community life - 19 June 2018

Local Indigenous culture is being represented through a variety of different art projects, brought together through partnerships between the community, local artists and Kempsey Shire Council.

The Dhanggati Wiriiyn Yapang (Dunghutti Story Trail) has been an ongoing project since July 2017 and has seen Council work with local artists and groups to create a series of cultural art poles as well as a landmark sculpture in Bellbrook CWA Park titled ‘Wupu Manhatinum’ (Travelling Star).

The project team includes artists, Richard Campbell, Elwyn Toby and Malcolm Dickson with assistance from artist Guy Crosley, Caroline Bradshaw, local primary and high schools and Kempsey Family Support Services.

Council’s Community Projects Officer, Olivia Parker, said two poles have already been installed at Bellbrook, with a mosaic sculpture similar to the one at the Yarriabini National Park, currently being created. The sculpture will depict the landscapes and wildlife that are culturally significant to the Dunghutti people.

“The mosaic sculpture at Bellbrook is extra special as it will also be a memorial for the late Aunty Esther Quinlin,” Ms Parker said.

“Aunty Esther started this project with us when we put together the grant application to Arts NSW. Unfortunately, we lost Aunty before it even got started, so we are completing it in her memory.”

Ms Parker said the community is welcome to come along and help the artists create the mosaic any day from Monday 25 June through to Friday 29 June between 10am and 3pm.

Art poles were recently installed at Boorongen Djugun College in West Kempsey and the Kempsey District Hospital with more to be installed at South West Rocks, Services Park Playground, Wigay park and Cochrane Street Playground.  

Other recent art projects have included the installation of some colourful flags along Smith Street, Kempsey which were designed by local Dunghutti artist Stephen McLeod for Reconciliation Week.

In the coming weeks, some new flags, designed by local artist Kyara Fernando will be installed as part of local NAIDOC Week celebrations. 

Malcolm 'Buster' Dickson and Elwyn TobyLocal artists Malcolm ‘Buster’ Dickson and Elwyn Toby before they began work on the mosaic sculpture at the Bellbrook CWA Park recently